Thursday, January 14, 2010

Community Speed Watch

We had an excellent and well-attended meeting of the Whinfield PACT on Monday evening.

One initiative which is now steaming ahead is the Community Speed Watch (CSW). Supported by both Durham Constabulary and Darlington Borough Council, CSW allows residents to work with the Police on the speed menace in our local streets.

Residents taking part will wear high visibility jackets, and will be accompanied by a police officer at all times. The tyeams will be operating matrices - equipment designed to monitor vehicles' speeds. Offenders wil have their registration plates recorded, and it will be for the Police to write to them to warn them about their behaviour. Repeat offenders may be fined.

The streets which will be targetted initially are those flagged by PACT meetings as having a speeding problem - so in Haughton West that will include Hutton Avenue, Wylam Avenue, Thompson Street East and Whinbush Way. Of course, depending on the success of the scheme, other streets may be targetted if PACT meetings feel that is necessary.

It was agreed by the PACT meeting that we would begin the initiative here in Whinfield, Springfield and Haughton in early February. The Police are now looking for volunteers (although there were no shortage of interested residents on Monday evening).

If you would like to help out, simply contact our local beat manager Jeff Summerhill on He can also be reached on 01325 60 60 365 x4122.


miketually said...

Why is this preferable to having police man a speed trap?

ianw said...

Mike (agreeing with you, thats twice this year)

Firstly I must state I am not against reducing speed and have always supported a 20MPH limit in Hurworth which for some stupid red tape reason we cannot do as there has never been a death out here YET! roll on death!!

It's in no way preferable to having a police speed trap if anything is simply shifting responsability, out here the local do gooders are also trying to set this scheme up. It seems the more you volunteer to do the more and very easilly the Police will let you the power the Police will delegate or give up.

I must say I have been against it and it's potential abuse from members of the toytown police volunteer squad from day one. What happens if they have a personal grudge.

Perhaps if they are so committed to crime fighting they should enlist as "Special Constables"

I honestly believe it is the Polices responsobility and totally in it's remit, it is no doubt also what they get paid from our taxes for.

My initial worries about them doing this they were to be alone as some areas do. However our village bobbie assures me they will never be left unattended which begs the question if a "real" Policeman is there why the need for "Dad's Army"?

What part of there remit will they be passing off next the Policing of troubled estates, oops they have already done that.

I fancy becoming part of the voluntry air support unit, once they get me my own helicopter.

I suppose it's getting the pensioners out for some fresh air.

I notice none of these do gooders volunteer for the "dog poop police" going around picking up
5h1t3 or litter duty NO! that does not come with the percieved power trip some of them out here crave! (They know who they are)

"let the Police do it thats what they are paid for"

ianh said...

oh dear, I am afraid that i must agree with both Mike and tother Ian, a most unusual circumstance!

If the police are in attendance with properly calibrated speed monitoring equipment, why are civilians involved and speeders not prosecuted?

I wont take quite the same tack as Ian (phew!) re "do-gooders" but their is certainly a distinct possibility of this causing more problems than it solves, with grudges developing with possible retribution etc.

Daft idea to me
Just get the police on the streets enforcing the law. "Simples...."

Darlington Councillor said...

Points taken, but I do believe there is value in involving the community in this initiative.

Firstly, it raises the profile of speeding in our communities - practically, through word of mouth, but also via the visible presence on the streets.

Secondly, it is tangible evidence that the priorities set by local residents via PACT meetings are being followed through.

Next, it is a way that local people can get involved in community-related work. I think this might lead fruitfully on to other initiatives.

Finally, residents armed with matrices will be able to guage how serious the speeding problem is on local streets with empirical evidence - can you distinguish between a car travelling at 29mph and one at 37 mph?

There are safeguards in place to ensure that the addresses of perpetrators will not be disclosed. A police officer will be present at all times, so busybodies will not be able to have a field-day!

As the scheme rolls out, I'll be reporting back via this blog.

Anonymous said...

I was originally concerned Nick when it was proposed for them to be flying solo.

If a Police presence is there, fine but while he's there should he not fine?

james said...

I think that projects like this show how it is possible to improve services by involving staff and service users.

There's obvious concerns about volunteers replacing paid professionals or diverting resources from things which are of a higher priority.

But I think that this "co-production" is a good way to improve public service delivery.

Certainly better than having to fork out for a private security company...

IANH said...

Hi Nick, sorry but not at all convinced.
It is the job of police to enforce law on our roads, not civilians.

This "initiative" could pit neighbour against neighbour and will do nothing to stop persistant speeders.
This is a waste of police resources.

Anonymous said...

Ian H


RIP David. said...

I have just seen the Northern Echo where they actually name the resident working along side the village bobbie as Mr John Buxton unbelievable.

I thought the idea was to reduce speed not increase assults.

It was mentioned at one point to avoid the posability of reprisals that each volunteer would work in another village to keep the volunteers anonymity.

I am totally against this set up like many other posters on here, if the Police are there let them handle it that is their job.

The speeders need stopping in any village and the reason we always get from the police when trying for a blanket 20MPH is there has been no deaths.

Well sadly in Hurworth that is now untrue, I do not mean in anyway to imply this death was speed related, but poor David may not have died in total vain if a 20MPH speed restriction is now implemented due to his ultimate sacrifice.

RIP David you will be missed.

Trumpton Speed Watch said...

Yesterdays Echo, 2 Policemen (one was a PCSO)and a Parish Cllr. in Heighington on CWS.

Come on enough is enough this is overkill if you have a Policeman there and a PCSO write some fines you can't catch muggers and burglers so make some Police income the easy way.

Another do-gooder scheme gone wrong, you are either speeding or not it is upto the Police to either give a warning or fine not Parish Councillors!

Maybe this is why Police response time is so slow they are all out on photo shoots with the Echo what a waste of man power.

In Cleveland they have the little white van that moves around everything except driving it is computerized and frees up 2 officers to do their proper job.

Once again the volunteer was named as a Parish Councillor, his address will be easily tracked down for revenge by some disgruntled driver!

Speed may kill but fines pay for the overtime and Christmas party :-(